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signs of crack cocaine addiction

Signs of Addiction to Crack Cocaine

Crack cocaine is one of the most infamous and addictive drugs, and it is even more dangerous than the powdered form. Shortly after using this drug, your brain will release a flood of dopamine that causes an intense rush. Since people must snort or smoke cocaine to achieve the desired effects, it reaches the brain faster and creates a more powerful high. However, it’s also more short-lived, leaving people chasing the sensation in hopes of duplicating it.

What Causes Crack Cocaine Addiction?

Like all addictive substances, crack directly affects your brain’s pleasure and reward center. The first time you use crack cocaine, it’s a novel experience for your brain, but future use will produce less powerful results that make you want to smoke or snort more. While experimenting with crack once or twice doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll become addicted, any use can be dangerous and increase your risk of becoming dependent on the drug at some point. 

Euphoric, excessive bursts of energy are the most telltale sign of crack use. The manic activity may include sexual arousal, a sense of mental sharpness and rapid-fire talking, bouncing from one idea to the next. When the dose wears off, extreme fatigue can result, causing people to sleep for days. Crack cocaine can severely disrupt sleeping habits and impair your responsibilities and relationships.

In addition to the euphoric arousal associated with short-term cocaine use, undesirable side effects can include paranoia, hallucinations, anxiety, irritability and restlessness. Smoking or snorting crack in larger doses or combining it with other substances such as alcohol can be especially risky, causing violent or unpredictable behavior.

Health Risks of Crack

Snorting or smoking crack cocaine can destroy the delicate mucous membranes inside the nose and mouth, leading to nosebleeds and sinus infections. After prolonged use, some crack cocaine abusers develop a hole in their septum, the thin separation between the nostrils.

People who smoke crack put themselves in danger of a condition known as “crack lung,” a form of inflammation that leads to chronic coughing, wheezing, painful breathing and a higher risk of lung infections such as tuberculosis and pneumonia.

How to Safely Stop Using Crack

If you want to stop using crack cocaine, you should only do so under medical supervision to avoid withdrawal symptoms like depression, strong cravings and suicidal ideation. Medically managed detox sets the stage for a successful recovery by allowing your body and brain to clear themselves of all harmful substances in a safe environment, with health professionals carefully monitoring your condition. Once you are stable, you can move into primary treatment.

Having experienced help nearby if severe withdrawal side effects threaten your well-being can build the foundation for your next stages of treatment. At Vista Taos, our experienced providers can create a personalized detox treatment plan designed to address the unique symptoms associated with crack cocaine abuse.

If you’re ready to start your journey toward holistic health and wellness, our admissions counselors are ready to take your call. To learn more about medically supervised detox in Taos, New Mexico, contact us today.

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